When trouble comes, is our first response “I’ve got to do something” or “I’ve got to pray”?
Let’s make prayer our first reaction, not our last resort.
Sarah Young does a masterful job in speaking the words of the Bible to us through the first-person voice of Jesus Christ in her book Jesus Always. Be sure to check out my review by clicking here. Below are a few quotes from this keepsake book.
“Train your mind to think great thoughts of Me! Many Christians are defeated by focusing mainly on less important things—the news, the weather, the economy, loved ones’ problems, their own problems, and so on. Granted, in this world you will have trouble, but don’t let troubles become your primary focus. Remind yourself that I am with you and I have overcome the world.”
“Be careful not to attach your sense of worth to your performance. When you’re dissatisfied with something you have done, talk with Me about it. … Your imperfect performance reminds you that you are human. It humbles you and helps you identify with flawed humanity. Since pride is such a deadly sin—the one that ultimately led to satan’s expulsion from heaven—being humbled is really a blessing. So thank Me for the circumstances that have diminished your pride, and draw near to Me.”
“Praying not only blesses you but provides an avenue for serving Me. Rejoice that you can collaborate with Me through prayer as I establish My kingdom on earth.”
“When the task before you looks daunting, refuse to be intimidated. Discipline your thinking to view the challenge as a privilege rather than a burdensome duty. Make the effort to replace your ‘I have to’ mentality with an ‘I get to’ approach. … Remember that My Spirit who lives in you is the Helper; ask Him to help you when you’re perplexed.”
“Do not despise suffering. It reminds you that you are on a pilgrimage to a far better place. … While you continue your journey through this world, be thankful for the comforts and pleasures I bless you with. And reach out to others who are suffering. I comfort you in all your troubles so that you can comfort others. Offering help to hurting people gives meaning to your suffering—and Glory to Me!”
“Your natural tendency when you’re feeling anxious is to focus on yourself and your problems. The more you do this, the more you forget about Me and all the help I can supply. This worldly focus only increases your anxiety! Let the discomfort you feel at such times alert you to your neglect of Me. Whisper My Name, and invite Me into your difficulties.”
“Today is the time to delight in the blessings I have provided. Since you don’t know what tomorrow will bring, make the most of what you have today: family, friends, talents, possessions. And look for opportunities to be a blessing to others.”
“Thank Me frequently; be on the lookout for My blessings, searching for them as for hidden treasure. Praise Me not only in prayer and song but in your words to other people. Tell them about My marvelous deeds; declare how great I am!”
I will be sharing more quotes from Jesus Always in the near future. If you want to be notified as soon as these quotes are posted, please subscribe by entering your email address in the right column.
“If we are going to be used by God, He will take us through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for us at all, but meant to make us useful in His hands. There are things we go through which are unexplainable on any other line, and the nearer we get to God the more inexplicable the way seems. It is only on looking back and by getting an explanation from God’s Word that we understand His dealings with us.”
“The essence of Christianity is that we give the Son of God a chance to live and move and have His being in us, and the meaning of all spiritual growth is that He has an increasing opportunity to manifest Himself in our mortal flesh.”
“Temptation is a short cut to what is good, not to what is bad. satan came to our Lord as an angel of light, and all his temptations center around this point—‘You are the Son of God, then do God’s work in Your own way; put men’s needs first, feed them, heal their sicknesses, and they will crown You King.’ Our Lord would not become King on that line; He deliberately rejected the suggested short cut, and choose the long trail, evading none of the suffering involved (cf. John 6:15).”
“God expects His children to be so confident in Him that in a crisis they are the ones upon whom He can rely. … God expects of us the one thing that glorifies Him—and that is to remain absolutely confident in Him, remembering what He has said beforehand, and sure that His purposes will be fulfilled.”
“God has never promised to keep us immune from trouble; He says ‘I will be with him in trouble,’ which is a very different thing.”
“The Bible characters never fell under weak points but on their strong ones; unguarded strength is double weakness.”
“Do we trust in our wits or do we worship God? If we trust in our wits, God will have to repeat the same lesson until we learn it.”
“The coming of Jesus Christ is not a peaceful thing, it is a disturbing thing, because it means the destruction of every peace that is not based on a personal relationship to Himself.” [Matthew 10:34]
“The peace that Jesus gives is never engineered by circumstances on the outside; it is a peace based on a personal relationship that holds all through. ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: … in Me … peace.’”
“God is a holy God, and the marvel of the Redemption is that God the Holy One puts into me, the unholy one, a new disposition, the disposition of His Son.”
“In the Sermon on the Mount our Lord teaches us not to look for justice, but never to cease to give it. That is not commonsense, it is either madness or Christianity.”
“When the love of God is in me I must learn how to let it express itself; I must educate myself in the matter; it takes time. Acquire your soul with patients, says Jesus [Luke 21:19]. Never give way to this spirit—‘Oh well, I have fallen again, I will stay down now.’ Have patience with yourself, and remember that this is salvation not for the hereafter, but for the here and now.”
You can read the first set of quotes from The Place Of Help by clicking here.
My review of The Place Of Help is here.
And be sure to look for “Thursdays With Oswald” to read quotes and thoughts from the current Chambers’ book I am reading.
A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinion. (Proverbs 18:2)
One’s open mouth—and closed ears and mind—says a lot of one’s heart! In this 18th chapter of Proverbs, Solomon draws a pretty stark contrast between the mouth and ears of a fool and of a wise person. Check out the links on each of the verses to Bible Gateway to get a full picture of both the fool and the wise person.
So… are you being wise or foolish with your mouth and ears?
“Trouble and prayer are closely related to each other. Prayer is of great value to trouble. Trouble often drives men to God in prayer, while prayer is but the voice of men in trouble.” —E.M. Bounds
“Prayer is the language of a man burdened with a sense of need.” —E.M. Bounds
“The prime need of the church is not men of money nor men of brains, but men of prayer.” —E.M. Bounds
“Other duties become pressing and absorbing and crowd out prayer. ‘Choked to death’ would be the corner’s verdict in many cases of dead praying if an inquest could be secured on this dire, spiritual calamity.” —E.M. Bounds
“Faith, and hope, and patience and all the strong, beautiful, vital forces of piety are withered and dead in a prayerless life.” —E.M. Bounds
“We must lay before God what is in us, not what we want to be in us.” —C.S. Lewis
“It is quite useless knocking at the door of Heaven for earthly comfort. It’s not the sort of comfort they supply there.” —C.S. Lewis
“Of course you will all remain in my prayers. I think it very wrong to pray for people while they are in distress and then not to continue praying, now with thanksgiving, when they are relieved. Many people think their prayers are never answered because it is the answered ones that they forget.” —C.S. Lewis
“Well, let’s now at any rate come clean. Prayer is irksome. An excuse to omit it is never unwelcome. When it is over, this casts a feeling of relief and holiday over the rest of the day. We are reluctant to begin. We are delighted to finish. While we are at prayer, but not while we are reading a novel or solving a crossword puzzle, any trifle is enough to distract us…. Now the disquieting thing is not simply that we skimp and begrudge the duty of prayer. The really disquieting thing is it should be numbered among duties at all. For we believe that we were created ‘to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ And if the few, the very few, minutes we now spend on intercourse with God are a burden to us rather than a delight, what then?… The painful effort which prayer involves is not proof that we are doing something we were not created to do. If we were perfected, prayer would not be a duty, it would be a delight. Someday, please God, it will be.” —C.S. Lewis
“I think it wise, if possible, to move one’s main prayers from the last-thing-at-night position to some earlier time: give them a better chance to infiltrate one’s other thoughts.” —C.S. Lewis